why companies should tackle childhood obesity

August 3, 2010

in wellness

good is one of my favorite new media sources. their magazine’s beautiful, their information informative and entertaining. i love them so much i wear my “good” t-shirt, even though i get the oddest looks. (with only “good” emblazoned on my chest, the t-shirt never bothers to say just what exactly is good.) this infographic is from their contest created in partnership with the let’s move campaign. click here to see a full-size image and the other contenders.
childhood obesity good project

we’ve got a serious problem when it comes to childhood obesity. look at these stats. and consider the lifelong impact to each kid’s future.

but what’s that got to do with a blog focused on health communication for the workplace? or more to the point: why should companies care about childhood obesity?

how about because:

  • companies cover kids. and now with health care reform, they cover them for longer.
  • childhood obesity starts very early, and recent research suggests it’s more prevalent in moms who smoke. educating expectant moms about available tobacco cessation benefits and good prenatal care improves two lives.
  • parents are concerned about childhood obesity but don’t know what to do. or haven’t been successful in making changes. give the parent support and solutions and empower everyone.
  • when you tackle the kid’s behavior, you change the parents’. when you support the kid, you appeal to the parent. either door you come through, you’re affecting both the kids’ and the parents’ behavior and well-being.
  • while we debate whether manufacturing in this country is in decline, many facilities employ multiple generations of workers. you could affect the future health of your workforce before they hit your door.
  • there are brownie points for being a positive, contributing member of the community. it may be crass to say, but i’ve worked in community development. brownie points are good.

many companies are already offering benefits and wellness services that are making a dramatic difference in their employees’ and their families’ lives. for them, it’s a simple shift of message, an expansion of benefits eligibility, and an awareness that curbing childhood obesity gets at the health issues companies are concerned about. then, and i know this is a stretch, more of them can start advocating for obesity-related policy and research. it’s in their own self-interest, as well as the community’s at-large, for companies to throw their weight around.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Roche August 3, 2010 at 11:10 am

Really good reading…and I agree, it starts when they’re young. When I was a kid there used to be massive pollution on the highways. The campaign to end it started with educating kids about pollution. It was powerful and it worked. I think the same could be said about childhood obesity.

Thanks…and thanks for the link to Good. I’ve never read it. (And I chuckled about the t-shirt…that’s cute.)


fran August 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm

the “crying indian ad” — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4ozVMxzNAA. i didn’t remember it’s use of the “people start pollution. people can stop it.” don’t we say that now about guns….

good’s worth subscribing to. and grid, for a local spin.



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